EHS History

Elko High School
Established1895

As more grammar school graduates returned seeking additional education, the need for a high school became apparent.  J.A. McBride and A. W. Hesson were instrumental in this campaign.  Hesson was so determined to create the school, he rode across nearly the whole county on horseback to "secure support for the bond issue necessary for building and establishing the school.  In 1895, Elko County High School opened its doors on Court Street, becoming the first county public school in Nevada.  Today this structure houses several county offices.

After 1896, the school grew steadily.  Along with the population growth, clubs, sports, and traditions were established.  The first football team tackled the field in 1905.  1909 marked many firsts.  The first four year courses were installed in the curriculum.  The first basketball team took to the courts.  The first Pohob was published and the first student government was organized.

While waiting for construction to be completed on the the new high school, classes were held in Van Drielen Hall.  Construction of the new high school on Court Street was completed in 1896 at a cost of $7,420.  In 1941 a fire started in the building by spontaneous combustion of rags.  It destroyed the second story of the building.  Many wanted to tear the building down, but because most of the men in the town had gone to war, a roof was constructed over the remaining story.  The original building still stands today housing several county offices.  It housed the Home Makers Club as well as the County library after the school was moved

 

 

The first students to graduate from the official Elko County High School in 1896 were Charles Drown, Jessie Keyser (right front), Charlie Mayer, Ernie Robinson and Clara Taber.

By 1913 enrollment had increased significantly.  Even with a new laboratory, built in 1907 (occupied by the Twentieth Century Club today), the high school was too small.  Classes were being held in the basement of the courthouse, the basement of the Baptist Church, and Leonard Hall.  The Main Building, located on College Avenue, opened its doors in 1917 as the next high school.

 

Elko County High School in 1919 is a mere shadow of today's campus.  Built in 1917, the Main building and auditorium dominate the grounds.  The dormitory, visible in the background, stands where the New Building is now located.


In addition, many students came from the whole county to study at EHS.  In response to the need for living quarters for out of town students, construction on dormitories began in 1917. Most ranch children stayed in the dormitories located behind the school.

The dormitories were home for many students from the outlying ranches.  The dorm was divided into boy’s side and a girls’ side.  Faculty members acted as dorm parents.

A pile of rags in the corner of the auditorium spontaneously ignited causing the building to burn to the ground in 1971.  The auditorium was located to the east of the Main Building.

The school continued to grow.  Presently the campus occupies two city blocks with 13 buildings, a combined staff of over 100, and a total enrollment of 1254.  One thing has not changed over the years, however--the pride, spirit, and commitment to education by faculty, students, and community alike.  The spirit of cooperation and dedication begun in 1865 has made EHS what it is today.


 






Information compiled by Mrs. Gwen Anne Thacker, retired EHS administrator